Build a Rube Goldberg Machine

Do It Yourself!

This month's three-star challenge is to build a Rube Goldberg machine. 

If you post a video of your kid's Rube Goldberg machine to YouTube or a similar platform, provide a link in our Community Coaching thread for One Thing this month. We'd love to see your family's contraption in action! Photos also welcome! 

Gauge the interest and ability of your kids and provide help if it's needed, without taking over. To get the idea across to very young kids, you could even build a simple chain reaction and let them help you, making adjustments to include them and their ideas. Then they can make their own. 

How To

You could:

  • Have the kids work together
  • Let each kid make their own
  • Invite another family or two to participate (Competition? Collaboration?)

The project could:

  • Have a specific task the machine should achieve
  • Have a specific number of steps (adjust for siblings' ages and abilities)
  • Be built with materials you provide or specify
  • Be built with a time limit - or not
  • Be designed first on paper - or not
  • Include all six simple machines
  • Include making a video, perhaps with a kid's voiceover
  • Be completely open-ended - no requirements

Here's a video of a simple Rube Goldberg machine that uses all the simple machines.

Potential tasks for a machine

Middle or high schoolers and kids who are more into building and tinkering might enjoy a specific challenge. 

They could set a challenge themselves or try one of these: 

Let's see what they come up with! 

Posted June 1st, 2018
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